Radio Times

The 7 Billion

October 25, 2011


New-born babies in Agartala, India. India is the second most populous country in the world. (AP Photo/Umasankar roy Choudhury)

Hour 1

In 1900 there were just 1.6 billion people living on Earth but by the end of this month, our numbers will reach seven billion.  And by 2100, the U.N. projects that the world’s population will reach 10.1 billion.  Can the planet handle all of these people?  Is there enough food, water, living space?  And what does it mean for the environment, for human health, and economic and political stability in the world.  And while some country’s populations are exploding – particularly countries in sub-Saharan Africa — others like Japan and the countries of Western Europe are actually in decline.  We’ll explore all these issues with CARL HAUB, a demographer with the Population Reference Bureau, and JONATHAN FOLEY, director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota.

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